Description and biology of Paectes longiformis (Lepidoptera: Euteliidae), a new species from Brazil and potential biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree in Florida

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Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Anacardiaceae), native to South America, has invaded different habitats throughout south and central Florida. In recent surveys of natural enemies conducted in Salvador, Brazil (native range), a new species in the genus Paectes (Lepidoptera: Euteliidae) was found feeding on foliage of Brazilian peppertree. The objectives of this study were to describe the adult, larva and pupa and to examine the life history parameters of the new species, Paecteslongiformis Pogue, a potential biocontrol agent of Brazilian peppertree. Survival and development of immature stages were examined at six constant temperatures (ranging from 16 to 34°C). All stages of P. longiformis were exposed to 0°C for 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 8 d, and lethal times were calculated (Ltime50, Ltime90). Paectes longiformis laid eggs singly on the plant foliage and completed five instars including a non-feeding pre-pupal stage that moved to the soil where it spun a cocoon. Complete development occurred at temperatures from 19 to 31°C, the lower developmental threshold was estimated to be 11.5°C and 454 degree-days were required to complete development from egg to adult. The lethal times at 0°C (Ltime50=1 d, Ltime90=5 d) were used to construct isothermal lines to predict areas of establishment in the continental US. The predicted distribution includes the southeastern states including Florida, in addition to southern Texas and Arizona, and California. Overall, this study provides a species description, along with baseline information about the biology and temperature requirements of P.longiformis, a potential biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree. © 2012 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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Biocontrol Science and Technology

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